Article by Amanda Rabines | Growth Spotter
Palm Beach Gardens-based Eastwind Acquisitions is looking to build an autonomous vehicle-friendly multifamily development in Altamonte Springs.
Stephen Novacki, Eastwind’s vice president of development and acquisitions, told GrowthSpotter the city’s future autonomous vehicle program is a “unique, key component” to the proposed multifamily community.
“Kind of like what’s happened in Lake Nona, I think these are good areas for that kind of service and I’m glad we can participate in that and offer residences the proposed path the city is looking to make,” Novacki said.
Altamonte Springs City Manager, Frank Martz said the city was recently awarded a three-year operating grant from the Florida Department of Transportation to launch an autonomous vehicle program that will carry people to Uptown Altamonte, the SunRail commuter station, AdventHealth Altamonte Springs and the Altamonte Mall.
He said he expects to release a Request for Proposals for a private joint partner by the end of the second quarter next year.
Eastwind Acquisitions, which is affiliated with Eastwind Development, is under contract to purchase 3.5 acres behind the Altamonte Mall, near Cranes Roost Park, with plans to build a 268-unit apartment complex called Solera.
Currently, the site is owned by Knudsen Partners Limited, which is a family-run brokerage and real estate company based in Altamonte Springs. The firm owns a number of properties in the city.
According to the proposed site plan, the developer is seeking to build a 5-story apartment building and adjacent 5-story parking garage on the northern end of the property. The first level of the parking garage will accommodate guests, while the upper levels will need gate key access.
Eastwind is requesting a reduction in parking from 536 spaces to 456 spaces.
The developer hopes to mitigate the reduction by donating $25,000 to the city’s autonomous vehicle program. In addition, the multifamily community will feature a transportation rideshare location on the south side of the median opening along One Center Boulevard, adjacent to the site.
“We’re going to be connecting to the sidewalk network that connects to Uptown Altamonte…basically encouraging folks not to take their vehicles,” Novacki said.
Amenities for Solera include a cabana rooftop sundeck, a large courtyard amenity space, and a resort-style pool with a waterfall component and swim-up bar.
Novacki said the firm is near completing preliminary plans and expects to go through the city approval process early next year. If all goes well, he said he expects to commence construction next summer.
Forum Architecture & Interior Design is the architect. Jacksonville-based England, Thims & Miller Inc. is the consultant and engineer.
Solera is planned to rise near the northwest corner of East Central Parkway and Palm Springs Drive. The community will have a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
Eastwind is active in Central Florida and has experience developing transit-oriented communities.
The real estate company completed building one of the first apartment complexes across from the Tupperware SunRail Station in Kissimmee in 2019.
The 352-unit San Mateo Crossing apartment complex at 1245 Pacifica Dr. was recently acquired by a joint venture between Apex One Investment Partners and Balfour Beatty Communitiesfor $64.2 million.
Eastwind is also in the middle of renting out units at The Point at Siena Ridge, a 163-unit, 55-plus apartment community in Posner Park in Polk County.
“Central Florida has been very good to us,” Novacki said. “We’ll continue to do two to three projects a year.”
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